Lotte Mullan: Plain Jane

~ Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Lotte Mullan has been plying her trade around London for a few years now and turning a few heads along the way with her acoustic folk and breathy heartfelt vocals. The realisation of her potential is the debut album Plain Jane which places Mullan firmly in the richly deserved spotlight. The music has an honesty and simplicity that is a refreshing antidote to the style over substance of Lady Gaga and La Roux that record labels inflict upon our youth.

Mullan has surrounded herself with some steadying hands in the shape of former Christains songwriter Henry Priestman and former Mercury Men guitarist Simon Johnson and this has added a maturity to her sound. Lyrically she take her cue from personal experiences and shows she has a distinct mischievous side.

Album opener Fire In My Soul finds comparison with the likes of Kirsty McGee but only poppier and strangely is less indicative of the rest of the music on the album than an opening track would normally indicate. Her cover of Ben Taylor's Wicked Way turns the tables on the male sexuality of the original and is a confident statement of Mullen's aforementioned mischievous side. Alright With Me has been re-recorded from when it first appeared earlier in the year as a single. In its previous guise it was a snappy little pop ditty but has gone all grown up and been given a bluesy makeover that works just a well as the original. La La Love You is a song which has future single written all over it and is a perfect showcase for her plaintive breathy voice.

Picking a stand out track from this impressive debut is a difficult task but live favourite Valentine Song is quite beautiful, resplendent in its sparse arrangement and hypnotic brushed beat but honour of best track has to go to the magnificent How To Hold On. The sound of the bellow organ gently introduces the song before the rest of the band strikes up and makes this song ninstantly likable piece of summer infused pop.

As a debut this is a strong and impressive one from the 26 year old Suffolk songwriter and comes thoroughly recommended. Move over Ellie Goulding and Amy MacDonald, there's a new girl in town.

[][][][][ (4.5/5)